Publish date:

Kyrgios helps lead Australia to first Hopman Cup title in 17 years

It was a historic day for Australia as Nick Kyrgios help lead the country to its first Hopman Cup title in 17 years.

PERTH, Australia (AP) — Nick Kyrgios and Daria Gavrilova had singles wins over Ukraine to lead Australia Green to the Hopman Cup, the country’s first title in the mixed teams event in 17 years.

Gavrilova’s 6–4, 7–6 (6) victory over Elina Svitolina gave Australia a 1–0 lead before Kyrgios clinched the title with a 6–3, 6–4 win over Alexandr Dolgopolov.

Australia’s only previous Hopman Cup title came in 1999, when Mark Philippoussis and Jelena Dokic beat the Swedish pair of Jonas Bjorkman and Asa Carlsson.

The last time Australia reached the final was in 2003, when Lleyton Hewitt and Alicia Molik were defeated 3–0 by Serena Williams and James Blake of the United States.

Brisbane roundup: Victoria Azarenka ends title drought dating back to ‘13

Kyrgios won all four of his singles matches and combined with Gavrilova for an unbeaten mixed doubles run.

Against France on Friday night, Australia Green was down a set point in the mixed doubles. If they had lost, Britain’s Andy Murray and Heather Watson would have qualified for the final.

But Gavrilova made a clutch cross-court volley before Kyrgios helped seal the 2–1 win in which the Australian team also faced a match point in the match tiebreaker.

SI Recommends

Gavrilova trailed 6–1 in the second-set tiebreaker Saturday before reeling off seven straight points to secure victory.

“I played a tournament in under-12s, and it was a super tiebreaker, and I was down 9–1 and I ended up winning,” Gavrilova said.

“I just literally told myself to settle down, just stop thinking of everything. Just think about how to win every point. I just played free.”

Kyrgios took the first set in 26 minutes before securing an early break in the second set.

“It’s an event that’s been held for a long, long time—before I was even born,” the 20-year-old Kyrgios said ahead of the final. “It’s pretty special. Especially me and Dasha (Daria)—we grew up together in juniors.”

• From the Players’ Box: Azarenka gives exclusive look at her off-season

After Australia’s win Saturday, Kyrgios dedicated the title to his former coach Darren Tandy, who died last month of colon cancer.

“He was a good mate of mine actually,” Kyrgios said of Tandy, who was coaching Britain’s James Ward before he died.

“I spent a lot of time with him on tour. It’s definitely a sad time. I want to honor this win to him.”